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Guide to the Spence-McCord Drug Company Records, 1895-1969 MSS 036

Guide to the Spence-McCord Drug Company Records, 1895-1969

MSS 036

Summary Information

Records of the Spence-McCord Drug Company (La Crosse, Wisconsin), consisting mainly of stockholders’ certificates (1921-1969). The collection also includes the amended articles of incorporation (1920), various legal documents (1895-1937) which are mostly mortgages and deeds associated with Spence-McCord land, and a stockholders’ meeting book (1905-1947).
Collection Title
Spence-McCord Drug Company Records
Date of Materials
Spence-McCord Drug Company.
Call Number
MSS 036
0.4 cubic feet
Physical Description
1 archives box
Language of Materials
La Crosse Public Library Archives

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Spence-McCord Drug Company Records, MSS 036, La Crosse Public Library Archives, La Crosse, WI

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Historical Note

James McCord, founder of the James McCord Drug Company (founded 1864), died in December of 1904. Just six weeks later, on January 27, 1905, his company was merged with the T.H. Spence Drug Company (founded 1874) to form the Spence-McCord Drug Company. These two companies were the only wholesale drug companies in La Crosse for many years, with few exceptions. Spence-McCord was incorporated by T.H. Spence, his son E.W. Spence and A.C. McCord, the son of James McCord. T.H. Spence was elected President of the corporation, G.W. Burton was elected Vice President and A.C. McCord was elected secretary at the first meeting of directors on January 31, 1905. On April 20, 1905, the resignation of A.C. McCord was accepted by the board of directors, and L.C. Colman was elected secretary.

The company held its first meetings in the offices of the James McCord Drug Company, at 206- 208-210 North Front Street in La Crosse. The company was established at the former T.H. Spence Drug Company, which was just one block away at 125-129 North Front Street. T.H. Spence sold the land and buildings there to the company in 1909, and the company stayed at that location until they bought the old Joseph B. Funke Company building on the northeast corner of Front and State streets in 1937. In 1963 Spence-McCord sold that building to Ross Furniture and made its last move, to 1502 Miller Street. Business was conducted from that location until 1973. Norman Longfellow served as the last president of the company.

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Scope and Contents

The bulk of these materials consist of stockholders’ certificates, which run from 1921 to 1969, with some gaps. The certificates give very little information as to the company itself, but do include the number of shares, to whom they were issued and the date, as well as listing from whom/where they were transferred and the date.

Also included in the collection are the amended articles of incorporation of the company (1920) as well as some legal documents dated from 1895 to 1937. The legal documents are mostly deeds and mortgages related to lot 1, block 10, original plat of La Crosse, owned by T.H. Spence from 1895 to 1909, when he sold it to Spence-McCord. The other documents are a lease for basement storage space in a building located at 103-105 North Front Street, and a warranty deed for the Joseph B. Funke Company building, which Spence-McCord occupied from 1937 to 1963.

The last part of the collection is a stockholder’s meeting book. This volume includes minutes of the first meeting of stockholders and minutes of the first meeting of the board of directors, the original by-laws, minutes from the annual meetings of both the stockholders and board of directors from the company’s formation in 1905 up to 1941, as well as a register of original stock certificates issued, and register of stock certificates re-issued or canceled (1905-1947). There is also a dividend section, which only has entries on one page, and a section of stockholders’ ledgers, listing stockholders and a record of stock they held. There are a few loose tax receipts (property, pavement and plank walk), the 1952 annual report of the company and a few other loose miscellaneous materials in this book.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

La Crosse Public Library Archives 1998 February

800 Main St.
La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601
(608) 789-7136

Access to Materials

Materials in this collection are available for patron use.

Acquisitions Information

(Accession No. 1997.017) Donated by Ken & Constance Jenkerson, September 1997.

Processing Information

Processed by Carrie Seib, Feb. 1998.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Spence-McCord Drug Company.
  • T. H. Spence Drug Company.


  • Business records--Wisconsin--La Crosse
  • Drug companies--Wisconsin--La Crosse

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OCLC Number


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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Articles of incorporation, 1920 

1 1

Legal documents (including deeds and mortgages), 1895-1937 

1 2

Stockholders' certificates 

Box Folder


1 3


1 4


1 5
Box Folder

Stockholders' meeting book, 1905-1947 

1 6